+ inload: Skin tone recipes – pale skin +

+ Painting pale skin +

+ Tonal contrast is probably the most important thing to get right in creating a striking miniature. Hue is much less important. Because the eye is drawn to areas of contrast, it's often the case that pale skin is useful to help draw the eye and provide contrast with darker cloth/armour etc. +

+ For pale human skin, my advice is to mix a tiny touch of Blood Red and Yriel Yellow into a lot of white and use that for the base. Give it a glaze of yellow glaze (very dilute Yriel/Golden Yellow; or Gryphonne Sepia, if you prefer washes), then reapply the pale mix. Add more white and yellow to highlight overall, with the addition of a touch of red to the mix for the lips and cheeks, for these results:

+ I've added purple to the mix above the eyes for the suggestion of eyeshadow. I've found the trick is to be as subtle as possible – apply the real-world rule of makeup. If you can tell there's something there, you're doing it wrong! +

+ For a cooler feel – more appropriate for figures that use a cool palette, or if you want to suggest a cold atmosphere, replace the sepia with a purple glaze (dilute Warlock Purple, or Leviathan Purple if you prefer washes), and use less yellow in the mixes. This will give the following results:

+ Of course, the thing to remember about any paint recipe for skin is that it will result in a formulaic feel. This can give a uniform effect, which I usually feel is inappropriate for humans – we're all very different colours, even within ethnic groups. To get a natural effect across a group of miniatures, it's important to vary the mixes. 

+ The core advice I'd give for pale skin is that it is built from 95 per cent white, with tiny touches of yellow and red. By varying the specific colours you use – substituting the white for a cream or ivory, for example; or Yrial yellow for Iyanden Darksun, you will get subtly different results. This example uses Dheneb Stone in place of the white paint:

+ These skintones are just colours; so remember that you can use them elsewhere. They make nice fabric colours, for example. Alternatively, you can use them for non-humans. A good recipe I've found for a pale alien/elfen skintone is the following: start from a pale base of 50/50 white and Dheneb Stone with a touch of purple added, then add more white for highlights. Glaze with very dilute purple and glaze repeatedly with white for this effect:

+ To reiterate, this recipe isn't a be-all and end-all, but a starting point to achieve good tonal contrast. In the figure above, all the hues are very desaturated, but the tonal contrast between the pale face, hair and hands and the dark remainder of the model draws the eye to the focal points. This can also be seen on the end of his spear, where the blade and gem are very dark, and contrast with a very pale silver setting. +

+ Note also that I haven't used pure white or black anywhere on the model – they're just very dark (or light) tones. His blond hair (built from a mix of yellow and white) also shows that you can use light hair alongside very pale skin without losing the distinction between the two. +

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